Grumman Corp. announced today that it is laying off 95 workers at its Salisbury, Md., plant because of reductions in federal defense contracts.
The layoffs eliminate slightly more than 18 percent of the jobs at the 6-year-old plant, said Susan Vassallo, a spokeswoman for the company.
The cuts are part of a plan to reduce Grumman's worldwide work force by 1,900 jobs. Based in Bethpage, N.Y., the firm builds military aircraft including the Navy's F-14 Tomcat fighter and A-6 bombers. Grumman employs 25,600 people.
"Where and when the other layoffs will take place, we don't know yet," Vassallo said.
She said that layoffs are likely in most of Grumman's U.S. plants, including a production machining facility in Glen Arm that employs about 175 people. Three plants in Florida and Pennsylvania are not likely to be affected by the cutbacks, she added.
The company's Salisbury plant is part of the firm's space and
electronics division. Plant workers
manufacture aircraft wiring harnesses and cable assemblies, said Ed Urban, the Salisbury site director.
Urban said the company also runs a warehouse and does some equipment testing at the Salisbury plant.
Earlier this week, Grumman Chairman Renso Caporali said the reductions are necessary because of "deep cuts in the defense budget and the need to be cost competitive."
fTC The Navy announced several weeks ago that it was canceling Grumman's F-14A modernization contract.
The Salisbury layoffs deal another economic blow to Wicomico County, where unemployment has jumped from 5.7 percent to 8 percent in the past year, according to Richard Matthews, head of the Salisbury office of the state's Department of Economic and Employment Development.
"These people unfortunately right now are coming into a labor market that is not chock-full of opportunities," Matthews said.
Urban said that most of the employees at the Salisbury plant were trained by Grumman after the facility opened in 1985. No formal education was required for the job, and turnover was about 10 percent a year, he said.